by Mike Ratliff
13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:13-20 (NASB)
This is the 1st day of 2022. In October last year I turned 70. Just a month earlier I celebrated 20 years as the Senior Database Administrator at the hospital corporation where I worked. Just a couple of week after I turned 70 my wife and celebrated 40 years of marriage. Lastly, December 24th was my last day at work as I retired. I must confess it was that last thing that has caused the most stress for my wife and I. Why? Well, now we are not getting that paycheck every couple of weeks nor the health insurance that goes with the job. As we prepared for this my prayer time changed quite a bit. I found myself praying extensively along the lines of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). Why? Here it is.
9 “Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’] Matthew 6:9-13 (NASB)
by Mike Ratliff
33 The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD. Proverbs 16:33 (NASB)
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Matthew 10:30-31 (NASB)
33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 (NASB)
22 Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Psalms 55:22 (NASB)
I was not part of the discussion. All I did was put my “like” on the original statement, which showed the contrast between the fallacy of Easy-believes/Works-Righteousness and genuine salvation that is based in the Biblically sound teaching of the sovereignty of God. My heart rejoiced in doing that. Why? I once was confused about how I actually came to Christ. However, as I studied the sovereignty of God in the context of our salvation I joyfully came to the understanding that God did it all. However, as I read some of the comments below the original statement I was very disappointed in some of them. I saw some who actually denied that they were “saved” because they were first drawn to Christ by God. This actually denies what our Lord said in John 6:44. Now that does not mean they weren’t first drawn to Christ, it just means they could have just been more confused than I was before God enlightened me. However, the purpose of this post, while being about the sovereignty and grace of God, is not about how Christians are “saved.” No, it is how we are to live after we are called, regenerated, and justified. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
3 For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.
4 You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth. Psalms 31:3-5 (NASB)
I doubt that I am alone in experiencing the pressure coming primarily from our enemy about all the evil going on in the world that seems to indicate that “everything is falling apart.” Our President is clueless. Most of the visible church in the U.S. is apostate. Idiots are in positions of power and stupid sheep are following them. If we have our eyes on these things then things can really bring us down. However, is this supposed to be how those of us in Christ are supposed to function? Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
1 Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after one in whose sight I may find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” Ruth 2:1-2 (NASB)
My wife and I just returned from a trip to the Colorado Springs, Colorado area for some vacation relaxation. She had never been in that area. I had, but it was when I was just a child back in the late 1950’s. I had driven through the area to get to ski areas and a couple of years ago to attempt to climb Mount Elbert which is further north up by Leadville. In any case, I was looking forward to some rest and relaxation and some photo opportunities. We had a good time. I got some great shots. That part of the trip was great. However, as many of you know, when I am home I spend as little time as possible watching TV and when I do it never includes the Mainstream News Media, which is nothing more than propaganda for the political left’s narrative of whatever their agenda is. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
WE were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39 (NASB)
As I shared on Facebook, I had lunch with my wife, my daughter and my youngest grandson at a local restaurant this morning. Everything was normal. However, as we prepared to leave, I took that last bite of my burger and reached for my glass of iced tea when something unexpected happened. My reflux kicked in and I found myself unable to breathe. My wife and daughter got me up out of the booth, I guess because I don’t remember doing it myself, and they asked for help. I don’t remember much. The next thing I know I felt some very strong arms grab me from behind and do that classic Heimlich Maneuver on me. I had never experienced it before. In any case, with just two very sharp thrusts I was breathing again. There were two men who helped us. I gave them both a very big hug and my wife bought their lunch. I am so grateful and I thank God for men like that. I really do not know how much longer I would have had if they hadn’t been there. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39 NASB)
As part of our annual insurance sign up each year where I work, I undergo various physical examinations and some of those results lead to further testing, but most of the time, I just get counseled to get such and such level more in line with what they consider to “be healthy.” They attempt to force us to do this by elevating the cost of our insurance if we don’t meet certain goals, et cetera. While I was I at my doctor’s office a few months ago undergoing my annual tests to see if certain prescription medications I take need to be changed or whatever, he asked me to take a blood test as well, which included a test for a PSA level. My tests came back .2 higher than what is normal for my age which is 60. I just shrugged. There are medications to shrink the prostrate gland after all, right? Well, my insurance company insisted that I go to a Urologist and undergo a combination ultrasound/Biopsy test, which took place last Friday. Continue reading